Monday, June 30, 2014


 Revamped CLNZ/NZSA Research Grants Open for 2014

Four CLNZ/NZSA Research Grants now open for 2014 applications.

CLNZ and NZSA are delighted to announce that applications for the revamped CLNZ/NZSA Research Grants are now open. Following feedback received from writers in 2013, the value of each grant has been increased to $5,000 and the number of available grants increased from two to four.

One of the four grants is supported by the Stout Research Centre at Victoria University in Wellington. The Stout Research Centre generously offers its facilities for a period of six weeks during October/November.

SRC offers a lively research environment for postgraduate students, international scholars and independent New Zealand researchers and writers – a great place to be while you utilise your CLNZ/NZSA Research Grant!

Last year the grants went to Dunedin writer Laurence Fearnley for an experimental project with the mountaineer Lydia Bradley and Auckland writer Witi Ihimaera for a ‘literary whakapapa’—or a biography/memoir.

Deadline: Thursday 31st July 2014

Application forms are available from both the CLNZ and NZSA websites at:

Applications must be received by 5pm, Thursday 31 July 2014. No late entries can be accepted.

Send applications to: CLNZ, PO Box 331488, Takapuna, Auckland 0740

Your favourite crime writers and your favourite series characters FACE OFF in eleven original short stories

Face Off

By David Baldacci and Various

Sphere -NZ$37.99

In this unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world's favourite crime writers bring you original, co-written short stories featuring their much-loved series characters. FACE OFF includes the first meeting of Ian Rankin's Rebus and Peter James' Roy Grace; a case for Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, as well as a page-turning mystery starring Lee Child's Jack Reacher and Joseph Finder's Nick Heller. 

Edited by international bestseller David Baldacci, this exclusive page-turning collection is one of a kind -  the full list of author and character pairings: 

Lee Child's Jack Reacher + Joseph Finder's Nick Heller Ian Rankin's John Rebus + Peter James' Roy Grace Michael Connelly's Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch + Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme + John Sanford's Lucas Davenport Linwood Barclay's Glen Garber + Raymond Khoury's Sean Reilly Linda Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper + Steve Martini's Paul Madriani Steve Berry's Cotton Malone + James Rollins' Gray Pierce Lisa Gardner's D.D. Warren + MJ Rose's Malachai Samuels T. Jefferson Parker's Joe Trona and John Lescroart's Wyatt Hunt Heather Graham's Michael Quinn + F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child's Aloysius Pendergast + R.L. Stine's Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy

Government heavyweights attend Penguin’s launch of John Key biography

‘Takapuna Town’ always rocks on a Thursday evening, never more so than when the Prime Minister and political heavyweights turn up for a book launch!

And what a book launch. The Booklover was full to capacity with distinguished guests, by the time John Key arrived and was surrounded by security men and quickly engulfed in a wall of TV cameras and media. It was a scene that plays out daily for the PM; a rare one for seasoned political journalist, New Zealand Herald columnist and debut author John Roughan.

Roughan’s biography, John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister (Penguin Group NZ) is a timely publication, the first major analysis of one of New Zealand’s most popular and influential leaders. “It is also unique” said Debra Millar (Penguin’s General Manager, Publishing), in that it is one of the first biographies of a sitting Prime Minister independently commissioned by a New Zealand publisher.”

While Roughan had access to the PM, his family and closest advisors in order to write John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, one of the conditions was that Key would not see it until just before publication. “And he never asked to see it”, said Millar. “As for the timing of the book’s release, well, that was purely for commercial reasons. When the election date was announced a little earlier than we had anticipated we simply had to speed up our internal processes to capitalise on the public’s heightened political awareness.”. And it was worth it, not least because Penguin pushed the reprint button on the day Roughan’s book hit the shelves.

Facing the Prime Minister as he spoke, Roughan thanked Key and his family for agreeing to be interviewed for the book. Their co-operation allowed him to delve a little deeper into the man behind the politician, and to share fresh background on Key’s childhood and formative years as a currency trader. With full access to the Herald’s archives and leave of absence from his ‘day job’ Roughan was able to turn around a book in just over six months that offers new insights into the life of the PM, including that memorable moment at the end of 2012 when after a particularly taxing year Key and wife Bronagh talked about whether it was worth carrying on. 

At the launch, which was also attended by senior cabinet ministers Bill English and Steven Joyce, as well as former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley, Roughan invited Key to respond, which he did with a witty off-the-cuff speech that started by saying how weird it was to be talking at a book launch when you’re the subject of the book. He went on to say that he’d been wondering what to buy Bill English and Stephen Joyce for Christmas, and now he had just the thing. English quipped “good, because I wasn’t going to buy a copy!”

Key paid tribute to Roughan’s research, and said he was yet to finish reading the book, but already he’d found out things about himself that even he didn’t know!
Once he’d finished talking to One News and Australia’s ABC about the latest opinion polls, the PM unexpectedly offered to sign copies of the book and mingled with the crowd for well over an hour.
A light rain fell as guests slowly evaporated in to the night, leaving behind a happy author, publisher and booksellers Tom and Helen, who had a bonanza night of book sales.

 The Prime Minister entertains
 Author and publisher

Author and Prime Minister

Photographs - Paul Mason

Report by Sarah Thornton

Stolen Lives - A foster child's story from the forties and fifties

   Stolen Lives
A foster child's story from the forties and fifties
Netta England

Published by Netta Christian,  June 2014, RRP $30.00

A powerful and inspiring memoir from a woman determined to fight for justice for people who have endured neglect and abuse while in state care.

Netta and her older brother Ray hardly knew their mother. She was a strange woman who made occasional visits, and they did not even know they had a father. Instead from a very early age they lived with foster parents and at school were treated as different. Growing up, Netta became increasingly aware that her foster mother disliked her.  Though never starved, Netta suffered neglect, as well as mental, physical and sexual abuse. 

After her brother’s death in 1976, Netta, by then married with a grown up family, began her long journey to learn about and understand what had happened in the past. She wanted to find out if somewhere out there was a family, her own family that she could belong to.   How would she find them, and would they want to know her? She needed to find her roots. Stolen Lives is the record of Netta’s journey from a neglected and abused state ward, to a woman who discovers her heritage and creates a positive life despite her upbringing. 

About the author:

Netta Christian (nee England) was raised with her brother Ray as a ward of the state in Papatoetoe. She was educated at Papatoetoe Primary School and Otahuhu College, where she passed her school certificate examination.

She worked for many years as a medical typist/clerk and was the sole night person at Green Lane Casualty Department until it was closed down about 1976.

She also lived and worked in Sydney for ten years doing casual/temp work, and later as an appointment maker for a telecommunications company. She is widowed and has three grown up children and three grandchildren, and now lives in a Hamilton Retirement village.

In April 2011 the NZ Herald ran a front-page top story about her wish to start a support group for those who were abused in state care. She was also interviewed on Radio New Zealand with Kathryn Ryan.

Netta’s self-proclaimed life’s work is to change the system of care and get some justice for people who have endured neglect and abuse while in state care. Netta believes that Stolen Lives will be able to positively impact upon people who have had a similar experiences and upbringing in care; the book is a beneficial read for all types of people with particular interest from care givers and political activists.

Recently Netta joined forces with CLAN, Care Leavers Australia Network, , and she is the Director of the NZ group. They have set up a Charitable Trust and are assisted by Community Waikato.  
View Netta’s story on the CLAN website at